We specifically selected this beach in Johnstone Strait for the home of the Kaikash Creek Orca Camp because it has so many benefits over other beaches in Johnstone Strait. We believe it offers the best possible location on the Vancouver Island shoreline to serve as a base for sea kayaking tours, when your goal is too see Wild Killer Whales and other local marine wildlife, in their natural environment.
Location – It’s everything!
The beach is situated on the shoreline of Vancouver Island approximately a 11km paddle from Telegraph Cove. This allows us to leave Telegraph Cove in the morning and take a leisurely paddle down the coast towards camp. Much further and we would not have time to explore the coastline, looking for bears and intertidal life or spend time drifting while we watch the Dall’s Porpoises feeding, Eagles fishing or the Orca hunting for salmon in the kelp forests.
At almot 1km (.6 mile) long, it is the longest beach in the area which allows you plenty of room to explore when not kayaking; Go find a quiet area away from others on the trip with you, or just explore the inter-tidal area for the plethora of critters who call it home.
From camp it is a mere 6km to the boundary of the spectacular vista of the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve. A paddle to there from camp makes a great day trip, with lunch taken on a small beach en-route and an opportunity to explore a trail to a waterfall.
The amazing wildlife
It is right in the heart of the Northern Resident Killer Whale summer range. This area is protected by the Federal Government of Canada under the Species At Risk Act (SARA) as ‘critical habitat’ for these spectacular animals.
The Resident, salmon eating Killer Whales tend to hunt for their prey in and among the forests of Bull Kelp which grows just below the low tide line. There is such a kelp forest running the entire length of this beach approximately 25 meters offshore at high tide. The Orcas, seals and Stellar sea-lions will come and hunt this forest on a very regular basis. Dinner is frequently interrupted by the sound of whale ‘blows’ and the resulting photo opportunities. This beach is in such a great area that we have created a 2nd camp, Kaikash Creek Adventure Camp at the far end of the beach and a 3rd camp, Spy-hop Point on another beach a little closer to Telegraph Cove.
Eagles abound, soaring above and over the water; super intelligent Ravens search the shoreline; Mink slink the waters edge searching for crabs and other shellfish while squirrels chatter from the trees above
The spectacular view
We are treated to spectacular moonrise, sunrise and sunsets. See the sun or the moon rise twice, once over the coastal BC mountains in the distance and again as it is reflected in the water across the width of the Strait. The sun sets over the distant ‘namgis first nation home on Cormorant Island. There is no light pollution, except maybe our camp-fire so star gazing is a great evening pastime.
Sit on the beach and watch the distant fog banks roll in from the north and slowly hide the snowy mountains of mainland BC over 120km away.
Blackney Passage, directly opposite Kaikash Creek Orca base camp is part of the famed ‘inside passage’ and is traveled by the Alaska cruise ships. Laze in a hammock and watch them go by.
Our camp is located on land we lease from the ‘namgis first nation whose ancestors have lived in this area for countless thousands of years. Our agreement with them includes that should we leave tomorrow, the forest could reclaim our site as if we had never been there. This does not mean that we cannot provide great facilities, just that we need to be very aware of our impact. You will find,
- Spacious tents you can stand up in, already pitched on locally milled red cedar tent platforms.
- Large covered area used for dining and lounging.
- Established camp kitchen with stove, BBQ & picnic tables.
- Hammocks strung at the edge of the beach – Ideal for just hanging.
- Beach fire pit for evening campfires.
- Composting toilets.
- Driftwood benches to sit and relax.
- A library containing books on local plants, animals, insects and local history.
- Plenty of space to explore - Discover the creek and waterfall after which the beach is named.